10 Questions with Natalie Penfold

Former Assistant Editor
Nat Penfold ARN

Natalie Penfold completed a journalism degree in 2013 and  began working in sales at 2GB. She moved across to SCA soon after, and has served in several roles since including sales-coordinator, casual receptionist and prep-air producer, giving her an in-depth understanding of the behind-the-scenes of a radio network.

After completing an Advanced Diploma at AFTRS in 2016, Nat landed a gig as breakfast producer/music announcer on the The Edge 96.1. She now balances producing Mike E and Emma’s Breakfast show with her own music presenting slot, between 1:30pm and 6pm weekdays.

Nat answers 10 questions with Radio Today

What’s the Natalie Penfold Story?

Like a broken record I’ve always been told that I have ‘talent’, ‘potential’ and ‘a bright future’ but wasn’t ‘applying myself’. I never fit in-the-box… I questioned everything and always wanted to approach situations in my own way (sincere apologies to Mum & Dad for being such a frustrating child lol).  I always knew that I was creative, but struggled to channel it into something I was passionate about… Until now. Working in radio has never made me feel as if I needed to be anyone but myself.

Who/what inspired you to choose a career in radio?

Influencing people’s lives… You can become part of a total stranger’s everyday routine and they genuinely want to hear what you have to say… You can literally affect the mood of thousands of people at one single time. That’s pretty bloody inspiring if you ask me.  

How did you end up in your current gig?

Mike E and I share a mutual friend so I’d met him once or twice before, a few drinks deep… I saw the job pop up online and after applying, I got a call and just heard Mike E’s voice say, “Hey, I know you!” (I remember worrying whether I was a few too many drinks deep the last time I ran into him haha).

I already listened to/loved The Edge and because of the dual role, it was my dream gig! Landing this role has helped me learn and grow so much as both a producer AND an announcer.

How do you prepare for your shift on-air?

I make sure that I’m up to date with all pop-culture/music news from the last 24 hours. My BIGGEST pet peeve is when music jocks can’t pronounce an artist’s name correctly!!! I always do my research on artists before I go on-air and that way, I don’t look like an idiot or embarrass the station ha!

I get up at 3.30am because of my producing role so when my arvo shift rolls around, sometimes I’ve hit a massive wall. When that happens, I absolutely blast a song in the studio and sing really loud to psych myself up. Oh and coffee helps too… It helps a lot.

Have you had any ‘pinch-me’ moments?

Walking into the ACRAs for the first time last year was surreal! It was an awesome experience to be surrounded by so many talented people in the one room.

What’s your dream radio job?

Hosting a Metro brekky show… I know I’ve got some seriously talented competition but hey, equal levels of seriousness and talent is sitting right here! 😉

What’s one skill you’ve mastered, and one skill that you’re currently working on?

I’ve mastered my time management skills… I swear my days run at double-time so there’s no room for stuffing around.

I’m working on getting up to one alarm in the morning, as opposed to the 5 I have now… Although I have little hope of this ever being achieved.

If you weren’t working in radio, what would you be doing?

I’d be a make-up artist. I was quite literally born with a head for radio (fml), so doing myself up was something I’ve practised from quite a young age. I still do make-up on the side, but only for a bit of fun.

What advice do you wish you could give yourself when you were just starting out?

Make yourself known. Radio is so hectic that everybody is very consumed in their own roles/to-do lists. Sitting back and waiting for an opportunity means that you’ll never get one! Also, networking is SO important.

Sum up working in radio in three words

Do things differently.

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